7th North Street

Courtesy of JOHN K THORNE/Flickr. Public domain.

Glowing cross red neon perched
like a robin on the church roof vaulted
made of stone thick tresses of ivy

spill from it afternoon light scatters broken
images of the Virgin across the backs of pews

but what is more beautiful the smell of flowering
Hollyhocks that bulge from a leaning chain-link fence
their heads fat and white and clustering into the shape

of a cross some small procession for the dead Sweet Boy
cannot figure as he passes by—

walking home there is a prayer card sunning itself on a slab
of concrete the Virgin of Guadalupe surrounding candles
melt paraffin and soy-wax around bucking flames glass

jars adorned with saints hot like the centers of galaxies
small and wild embers the stars.

Matthew Petit is a poet from Syracuse, New York. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Stony Brook University in 2023. He lives on Long Island.
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